Most people prune the dragon fruits after they have set fruits. This is usually the fall season. Depending on where you are located, this can be November or May.
Before flowering, if you notice some small shoots on the plants, prune them off. At this stage, we want to focus the energy on nourishing the mama flower & the baby fruit. So, the little suckers (small branches that suck away nutrients) may need to go for now.
In spring, small light green branches will shoot out a lot. If your dragon fruit vines are young, then let them shoot out. If there are quite a lot for one main branch to carry, prune off some smaller branches.
Leaving 1-2 smaller branches for one main branch is good, but 5 or 6 of them may be a little too much. Some growers get little fruit yields when leaving too many branches for one mama to carry.
Although, to keep you informed, some branches in some cases may be able to carry more smaller branches and still produce quite a number of fruits.
Here are the branches one dragon fruit plant has on average over the years:
|Age (years)||Number of branches per plant|
When pruning, choose lighter green branches & leave the darker green branches alone. The darker ones are usually the more mature ones that can bear fruits. If it's the first year of your dragon fruit, you can cut a bit of the top of the branch off. This can induce more branches shooting out from that one stem.
Also, consider tipping the plant. Tipping is like cutting off the pointy end of the branch. This makes the plants a little bit "angry". For survival & reproduction, it may produce more branches and thus more fruits in response.
Responses to Readers' Questions
Sir how to prune Dragan fruit plant after fruit season
--> Thanks for your question. To be sure, let me ask someone about this for you. I'll share what I find. Meanwhile, my guess is you could probably prune off those that are too old after some years of fruiting and have become less productive. You could try cutting the tip of the branch, this can induce the growth of several more branches and thus more fruits in the coming season. I hope this helps temporarily!
Update: Let me try asking again.
How to maintain overgrown dragon fruit plant from previous owners?
--> Thanks for sharing the pic and your question. Oh wow that is really overgrown. Despite that though, the overall branches look really good from here. Were you in any way able to find the roots from a branch that takes roots in the ground? Or may be, I could see some air roots on the fence.
Anyway, judging from the shape and twistiness of the branches, my guess would be there could be about 2 different varieties there, maybe...
You could consider pruning some off to keep things tidy. Additionally, you could use the fence as a support for the branches. If so, remember to lay the flat side of the dragon fruit branch against the wood piece. Because you know, on a dragon fruit branch, there is always a flat side and other more angular sides.
Dragon fruit plant AFAIK doesn't require a whole ton of maintenance though. You can feed it more phosphorous and potassium when it's growing buds and flowers. Sunlight does help make the fruits sweeter. Water less 1-2 weeks before the fruits reach their peak stage to lessen dilution and make sweeter fruits. Just remember to let the branches umbrella out (not climbing up and up forever). It looks something like this:
This way the plant will flower and fruit faster. You can harvest the fruits with a pruner. There are lots and lots of things we could share regarding growing this bad boy.
But I hope this helps somehow! Enjoy & See you again next time.
I'll drop some links here if you'd like to check out later:
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